A new series, a new story, and a few familiar faces.
Boruto: Naruto the Next Generation is definitely a mouth full and a half, and it’s certainly not as catchy as just “Naruto” was. But forgetting the rough title, Boruto is a name you won’t soon be forgetting. After watching the premier, I can come out and say that Boruto starts off strong. There’s certainly potential here.
One of my leading concerns heading into this series was how Boruto, both the show and the character would separate itself from Naruto. Not long after the show’s cold open, alluding to a rather tragic looking future and a stylish intro, Boruto does exactly that. While set in the same ninja world and borrowing a lot of the series core ideas, where Boruto stands out from Naruto is its shift in tone, feel, and story ideas.
Tonally, Boruto feels more like an entirely separate genre than Naruto did. At the start, Naruto definitely gave off strong action-fantasy vibes, but Boruto seems a lot more grounded in this first episode. Another breakaway from Naruto is that Boruto leans a lot more into character building, as the episode largely revolves around the (short) story of Denki– an reluctant shinobi in training. After being forced into the field at the behest of his stern, borderline abusive father, Denki struggles to fully accept and comply with his father’s wishes but finds himself neither strong or confident enough to stand up to him.
With an essentially flawless execution from the animation, intriguing plot, mix of characters new and old, and solid action sequences from start to finish there’s a lot to be satisfied with in episode one. Boruto definitely paves way to leave the shadow of its predecessor and stand on its own two feet. From what I’ve seen so far is that the chances to follow through and become a strong story in its own right are looking pretty good. If long as the quality is generally where it began or even better, Boruto will earn its place alongside Naruto or even sit above it on the list of greats and favorites of many.